Court backs plaintiff over nuclear info

Kyodo

The Nagoya District Court declared invalid Thursday a decision by a government-backed nuclear energy developer not to disclose information on potential disposal sites for high-level radioactive waste.

Presiding Judge Yukio Kato said the Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute was wrong for failing to clarify what information it withheld.

The ruling was made on a suit filed in February by Hideyo Kanematsu, head of a citizens’ group working against radioactive waste.

The institute, in disclosing information sought by the group, only gave the reason for withholding the details, which included the names of the potential sites, saying that full disclosure would obstruct its operations.

But Kato said that for the administrative decision by the institute to be effective, its contents need to be clear and its target must be specifiable.

The institute’s explanation does not clarify the extent to which it could or could not disclose information, he said.

The group learned that the institute’s predecessor, Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp., conducted studies from 1986 to 1988 in which more than 50 areas nationwide were identified as possible sites for radioactive waste disposal.

Acting on this, Kanematsu sought information disclosure on the relevant documents, saying the institute’s explanation was ambiguous.

The institute in December disclosed the names of the prefectures but not the names of municipalities that are candidate sites for radioactive waste disposal.

The institute notified the group that disclosing the information it requested could lead to pinpointing the target areas of the studies.